Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

As your San Diego County real estate agent Andrea Manroe, I want to be your resource for all things real estate. Whether you are buying, selling, or investing in real estate, I am here to guide you through the process. Subscribe to this blog to learn all of the latest news from our local market and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Why the Right Contractor Is Key

When choosing a contractor, there are a few things you need to consider before making your final call.
Thinking of selling? Get a free home valuation
Thinking of buying? Search all homes for sale on the MLS 

There are a few steps you should take to properly vet a contractor for your remodel project.

First of all, it’s always a good idea to choose a contractor who has been referred to you by a friend or a professional. Looking at that contractor’s prior work can give you a good idea of what the finished results in your own home will look like.

The Internet can also be a great resource for getting to know a contractor and their ability. Do your homework on them by checking out reviews such as the ones on Yelp! or Angie’s List. While you’re checking out their reviews, also look to see if the contractor is part of any contractor associations.

Additionally, make sure you get more than one bid for the project. In fact, you’ll probably want three, or even four, bids before you choose the contractor.

Choose a contractor who has been referred to you by a friend or a professional.
When you do get these bids, make sure the items within them are consistent. Comparing bids that are “apples to apples” will make it easier to choose. Looking at similar bids is the only way to truly see if they are comparable.

Also, when you sign the bid, make sure there is an agreed-upon payment schedule. It also may be worth it to use the same contractor for multiple jobs, since you will already know what to expect from their work.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Moving to a New Area

Whether you are moving to a new city or a new neighborhood, there are six things you need to remember before you begin the moving process.

Thinking of selling? Get a free home valuation
Thinking of buying? Search all homes for sale on the MLS 

Whether you are moving to a new city or simply a new area, there are a few tasks that you need to remember before you make your move.

1. Check if the bank you use has a branch in your new area.
If there isn’t a branch in your new area, then you need to research which bank to move your accounts to.

2. Consider your medical needs. Have your current doctor forward your prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new area. Make sure you keep that doctor’s phone number in your contacts so that if your new doctor needs past medical records, you will be able to call with questions. You should also see if your medical insurance transfers to your new area and look for doctors and hospitals that accept your insurance.

3. Don’t forget to transfer other things like gym memberships, home security, or any other associations that you pay a fee for. Transfer those to your new address and get copies of your children’s school records. Keep in mind that some memberships come with a cancellation fee if you leave early, so factor those fees into the cost of your move.

Factor cancellation fees into the cost of your move.
4. Raid your kitchen about a month before you move. Consider using the items in your pantry and freezer early so that your move will be more efficient.

5. Check your vehicle. If you need to drive a long distance during the move, make sure you get an oil change and that the tires are safe.

6. Turn off your utilities and switch them to your new address. Some providers, especially cable companies, may have a wait time before they can come out to your property. Make sure that you call early so that you don’t have to wait for any services or utilities to turn on at your new house.

If you take care of these six things, your move will be much less stressful. If you have any other questions about moving or buying a new home, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Friday, June 16, 2017

3 Things Every First-Time Homebuyer Should Know

Buying your first home can be an incredibly exciting time. However, it requires a huge commitment and a sizable investment.

Thinking of selling? Get a free home valuation
Thinking of buying? Search all homes for sale on the MLS 

I want to share my three top tips to help first-time homebuyers protect themselves during this crucial period:

1. Know what you can afford

Your mortgage is only a part of what you will need to pay when you buy a home. Homeownership comes with plenty of other expenses, including closing costs, taxes, property insurance, maintenance costs, and homeowner association fees.

Once you have a clear idea of how much all of these items will cost, you can compare it to your current monthly expenses. Then you can figure out the kind of home you can honestly afford without getting carried away and without getting bogged down in debt.

2. Choose your lender wisely

Choosing a lender is not something you should base only on the lowest rate. A competent and trustworthy lender will offer you advice on how to improve your credit and also help you take advantage of special homebuyer programs that might benefit you.

But how do you find the right lender specifically for you? It's often best to get recommendations from friends who have already worked with a lender or from a real estate agent you trust.

An inspection will cost about $300, but it can save you thousands.
3. Don't overlook the details

There are many details that go into buying a home, and missing any of them can be a costly mistake. I always advise buyers to get a professional inspection done on their home, separate from the appraisal. An inspection will set you back about $300, but it can save you thousands of dollars down the line, and it can even prevent you from making a decision to buy a home that you would later regret.

A second example is understanding the fine print in the various contracts you will be signing. If there's anything that isn't clear to you, talk to your real estate agent and have it spelled out.

The process of buying a home can be intimidating, and that's why professional real estate agents are there to help. These three quick tips are only the start of the things you need to watch out for when buying your first home.

If you need more advice or you are ready to start looking for a home, give me a call or send me an email. I love working with first-time homebuyers, and I can help you get your perfect new home with minimum hassle.